Glasgow & West Scotland

Death of Scots botanist Jamie Taggart 'not suspicious'

Jamie Taggart Image copyright Other

The father of a Scottish botanist whose body is believed to have been found in Vietnam has told the BBC there are "no suspicious signs" concerning his death.

Jamie Taggart, 41, from Cove in Argyll and Bute, failed to return from a plant-hunting trip in the northern mountainous region in November 2013.

His father Jim, 80, said a body had been found in the area he went missing.

He said personal effects at the scene meant there appeared to be "no ambiguity" it was his son.

Mr Taggart, who was a retained firefighter, took over responsibility for Linn Botanic Gardens from his father in 1997.

He arrived at a guest house in Sapa on 30 October 2013 and left on a motorbike taxi to explore the hills.

'No ambiguity'

The botanist had travelled to the area two years previously and was said to have known it well.

On 2 November 2013, his rucksack and passport were found at the accommodation.

His father told the BBC he had heard from the Foreign Office on Wednesday that Vietnamese authorities believed they had found his son's remains.

Mr Taggart snr said there appeared to be "no ambiguity" as various personal effects were found at the scene, such as his son's fire brigade pass.

He said there appeared to be "no suspicious signs of any kind" and he believed his son may have "fallen and hit his head".

The remains were discovered, he said, on high ground and it appeared that those conducting past searches had not looked near the top of that particular mountain.

'Difficult time'

Mr Taggart said it was "not really a surprise" to be told the news as "it was becoming increasingly clear the odds of finding Jamie alive were nearly nil".

The 80-year-old said he was now in contact with the Foreign Office about repatriating his son's body.

A spokesman for the Foreign Office said: "We are in contact with local authorities in Vietnam regarding Jamie Taggart.

"This is a very difficult time for his family, and we will remain in close contact with them."

Mr Taggart's father found out his son was missing when he failed to turn up for a scheduled flight home to Scotland on 29 November 2013.

Friends and local people later raised thousands of pounds to fund further searches, which proved unsuccessful.

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